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Innovators: Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino
Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out.
At the young age of 25, Sam Tarantino is the Co-Founder and CEO of Grooveshark, the largest internationally available music streaming and discovery service. Sam is a musician, an entrepreneur, and a visionary. His intent is to fix the world’s problems, but for now is settling on fixing the music industry.
What do you enjoy most about your work and why?
The part of my job that I enjoy the most is the fact that it’s in the music industry and I live and breathe music. I’m constantly learning new things. I get to do what I love while being surrounded by passionate people working towards bettering the industry and there is great energy I feel from that every day.
Where does your passion come from? What drives you, inspires you, excites you?
My passion comes from music. I’ve been a musician since I was ten, music drives me. I believe the music industry is right for change and innovation, and it excites me to be a part of that. There is more music being made in this day and age than ever before and it inspires me every single day.
Someone reading this wants to start a tech company. What’s your best advice for them?
The advice I have for people starting a tech company is never give up. There are always ups and downs in every startup and as much as you may want to give up, getting through the worst of times is how you win.
What are a few tech startups that you’re really excited about right now and why?
One startup that I’m excited about at the moment is Raise the Village. It allows people to construct a virtual village with huts, schools, and farms. You can also buy clothing, medical supplies and food. All of the virtual items that you use for your virtual village are actually transferred into real items and delivered to a village in Uganda. All of this is done from your iPhone. It is just so incredible to see great minds combine innovation with helping people.
Another startup that I’m excited about is Fracture. Fracture is also located in Gainesville, FL right down the street from the Grooveshark headquarters. They print your photos in the highest quality directly onto glass for a low price. There has been a void in getting your digital photos onto your wall and they are filling that void in an innovative, affordable way. Ambience should never be overlooked, and they are providing a service and product to make sure that doesn’t need to happen.
What tech tools (websites, apps, gadgets, etc.) do you rely on both for work and in your down time?
There are some websites and gadgets that I cannot live without. First and foremost I’d have to say Grooveshark. My life is better when music is a part of it and Grooveshark gives me the ability to listen to music anywhere, anytime. I use Mint for my finances, Wolfram|Alpha for nerdy awesome stuff, New York Times for news, Youtube always, and I’m huge fan of NPR. I’m hooked to my iPhone 4, my MacAir, Kindle Reader, and I use my iPad for guitar tabs and sheet music.